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On Day 2 FOSS.IN 11 of us met up on H1 of FOSS vilage and discussed various issues on Education (There was another parellel BoF going on in the Indic Computing BoF too). We had Dr. Vasant Barve (Retired Principal of K K Wagh College of Engineering, Nasik, MH), Sandesh Kamath, Vikas (both from SJCE Mysore), Shanker Balan, Philip tellis, Swaroop CH (from Yahoo!), Ragavan Srinivasan, Praveen A (Hewlett Packard), Venky (Redhat), Aneesh, Michael.

Availability of printed materials

The first suggestion was to make printed books available on FOSS tools in education. People are so accustomed to printed form of documentation (lack of internet penetration is one reason) so that making the online content available in the printed format is an important part. Suggestion in implimentation was to contact Universities for publishing.

Awareness initiative

Venky pointed out the lack of awareness of foss materials like, in the teacher community is a big probelem. He suggested a '3a' method to spread foss in education

  • awareness
  • appreciation
  • adoption

They don't get the technology

Shanker Balan was of the opinion that giving the foss tools in product for defeats the purpose of teching the new technology. He used his experience as an example, when he taught Red Hat Linux 5.2 to many and showed them a different version, they were not ready to accept it.

Teacher centric or Student Centric

We had to make a choce whtherto target Teachers or students in this initiative. We had very interesting observations at this point. Venky said it is a challenge to target students as every 3-4 year they pass out and we have to redo all the efforts. Sandesh suggested medium experienced teachers as the target. Philip wanted to target students so the question arose naturally, who will teach teachers? Mr. Barve told he learned more from his students. I stressed the need to make teachers aware of this. Venky was of the opinion that if we target teachers we reach more people. Philp pointed out the need to educate students the participating culture. this help them expand the community as they grow. Swaroop supported this argument.

More appealing to them

Venky pointed out the Namebian experience of using comics for spreading foss when Ragavan suggested approaching celebrateselike film stars, cricket starts to reach more people.

  • Venky joked that this gives us a chance to aproach Preity Zinta.

Indianising Games so that it becomes important

Focus on primary Education

So that morepeople get to start with foss and there won't be any inertia in switching from Windows.

We decided yo continue discussions through wiki and mailing lists.

More Ideas

Add your comments here

Back to Education project main page See a list of all BoFs